Wrestlemania season has kicked off with a rumble.
World Wrestling Entertainment’s The Royal Rumble has aired, and it was a hell of an event. Not only did we get the traditional Men’s Royal Rumble match we also got the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble match.
The Royal Rumble is one of the biggest and one of the best shows and this year’s Rumble was memorable.
Now just for a bit of background on the Rumble: What makes it such a huge event is the match called The Royal Rumble. The winner of this match gets a shot at one of the world titles of their choosing which takes place at Wrestlemania in the main event.
The opening match saw the WWE Champion AJ Styles in a handicap match against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. This match was for the belt, meaning that if Kevin and Sami won they would become co-champions. Owens and Sami pushed AJ to the limit. However, AJ ultimately prevailed – but in controversial fashion. Kevin was pinned even though he wasn’t the legal man in the match.
Then we had a two out of three falls match for the Smackdown Tag Team titles. The Usos, Jimmy & Jey Uso, entered as the champions and Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin entered as challengers. It was a very physical match even though it was hard to know who to cheer for as both teams were mainly the bad guys. The Usos picked up the first fall after a hard fight and soon after managed to get a roll up on Shelton giving The Usos a clean sweep victory.
Now we get to the first Royal Rumble match of the night. The match starts with two people in the ring and every two minutes another competitor will enter the ring. There are a total of 30 people in a Royal Rumble match. To win, you must throw the opponent over the top rope, and both of their feet must touch the ground to eliminate them.
The match began with Rusev and Finn Balor. Finn became the ironman of the match only getting eliminated near the end. There were a couple of surprise entrants with The Hurricane and Rey Mysterio returning and some NXT surprises as well with Andrade “Cien” Almas and Adam Cole entering.
Nearing the end we had the old school vs the new school. John Cena, Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio standing on one side with Finn Balor, Roman Reigns and Shinsuke Nakamura on the other. The battle continued until the final two were Roman and Shinsuke.
This is when the real intensity came in on so many occasions where they were so close to eliminating each other. Reigns hit with a spear and tried for a second but was cut off and Nakamura hit him with the Kinshasa and tossed Roman over the ropes to become the winner of the 2018 Men’s Royal Rumble.
The crowd is now exhausted, hell even I was tired. The Raw Tag Team Titles were on the line now as Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan defend against The Bar, Sheamus & Cesaro. An excellent story was told during this match as Seth Rollins had to fight on his own when Jason Jordan got thrown headfirst into the ring post outside the ring. Jason did finally make it back only to tag back out and leave Seth to take the pin making The Bar four-time Raw Tag Team Champions. A good match but no one could get into it as everyone was out of energy.
We head to the Triple Threat with no disqualification, and it’s for the WWE Universal Title; The Champion Brock Lesnar vs Braun Strowman vs Kane. This was a decent match with some hard hitting moments. Guys getting thrown through tables, chair shots and some massive power moves. The only issue was the fact that the outcome was extremely predictable with Brock retaining by pinning Kane. So excellent showing but just wasn’t fulfilling.
History time as we get to the main event, the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble.
The match itself was pretty good, but you could tell it was a new experience for the ladies in the ring with some looking a bit lost like they weren’t sure what to do. There were a lot of nostalgic acts coming back to take part in the Rumble: Lita, Molly Holly, Beth Phoenix, Nikki & Brie Bella and Trish Stratus are just some of the surprise entrants. The final two were Nikki and Asuka. They both had gone over the top rope fighting each other on the apron until finally Asuka kicked Nikki’s legs out and became the first winner of the Women’s Royal Rumble.
At the last moments of the show, Ronda Rousey made her first appearance. The Smackdown and Raw Women’s Champions Charlotte and Alexa Bliss are in the ring with Asuka in between of them. Ronda’s appearance was excellent and has had mixed reactions. In my opinion, it was mistimed, awkward and overshadowed what had just taken place. In the grand scheme of things, Rousey showing up to The Royal Rumble did precisely what WWE wanted, and that was gaining mainstream attention and using one of the biggest shows of the year was a smart move.
All in all The Royal Rumble was a fantastic show. I enjoyed all the surprise entrants especially for the Women’s Rumble bringing in some great nostalgia – as well as letting some of the legends take part in something that should’ve been done long ago.